Friday, December 21, 2012

Never Give Up

Author's Note: We were told to write a theme essay on a book we had recently read. I decided to choose the book Where the Red Fern Grows because I liked the themes that it had throughout it. Pay attention to how I relate the story to my life and other things in the world.

"You can't just sit back and watch the world change, it matters what you've got to say. There's no one else who can stand in your place, so come on it's never too late." The lyrics that Hannah Montana sings in her song "Make Some Noise" relates to the main character in the book Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. In this book, Billy demonstrates determination, sacrifice and the love of his family which helps him overcome different events and grow to be be a young man.

Bethany Hamilton was close to being a pro- teenage surfer and had lost her arm due to a shark accident. She was pretty much at her peak moment right then and there, and she didn't want to give up surfing just because she had a handicap. Surfing was Bethany's passion and she didn't want to do anything else, so she decided to try surfing again after she was recovered. The first couple of times, she didn't succeed and was almost ready to throw it down the drain, but a little voice inside her head kept telling her to push forward. Just like Bethany Hamilton was determined to surf like nothing had ever changed, Billy Coleman desperately wanted a pair of hunting dogs. Dogs that could help his family out by making money by the raccoon they killed. He has troubles with this though, because his father always says, "No son, those pups are just too expensive". At one point in time, Billy hears of a pup for sale at his grandpa's store down the road and checks it out. By the time he had gotten there, the Pritchard’s, his enemies, had already beaten him to it. This got him discouraged until he saw a piece of newspaper lying on the ground. One of the ads caught his attention, so he reads on. Little did he know that the tiny little ad in his hands would change his perspective on his crummy day. As he walked on home, he continued to look at the article and saw that there were 2 red hounds for sale: $25 each. Billy knew what he had to do: he wanted to purchase the dogs of his dreams that he has forever been longing to have.  He comes to a conclusion that the only way he's going to get that money is if he works, so that is exactly what he starts to do. That boy was so determined, he eventually managed to earn enough money with many long and hard hours of work. 

In the midst of Billy being determined to find his dogs, he has a tight bond with his family. Even when he is on his way to buy his dogs, he goes out of his way to be generous towards his family. He buys candy for his sisters, Alice and Sarah, a pair of new blue jean overalls for his dad, and enough fabric for his mother to make many new dresses. Billy also goes through a hard decision in "the hunt". He has two choices, to go save his grandpa from rolling down the hill in the storm, or to keep hunting to win the trophy. Most people would keep hunting for the prize, but being the caring person he is, Marty puts his bow down and goes to help his hurting grandpa. After the hunt is over, Billy is taken by surprise when he is awarded the winner of the hunt instead of the man who got the most animals. The man who had won gave up his own trophy because in his mind, Billy really had won because of his loyalty he showed toward his family. This reminds me of my parents and how they gave up the luxuries of life to spend more time with my siblings and I. They never had a brand new car and wouldn't think twice about sending us to day cares. Instead, they would take us on trips, bring us bike riding and take us with them to have picnics in the park.

Not only does Billy have a tight bond with his family, but he has a tight bond with his dogs as well. in chapter 20, Big Dan builds up the courage to stand in front of the mountain lion and risk his life for his friends, Little Ann and his owner, Billy. In result, the mountain lion ends up killing Old Dan, but Little Ann and Billy remain alive. This reminds me of something that just recently happened in Brookfield down by a local nail salon. A man came to the salon and was about to shoot his daughter who worked at the salon. They  just so happened to be in a fight so that had made terms even worse. The man was about to fire when another lady who worked with the daughter at the salon came and took the bullet. She sacrificed her own life so that her friend could live. Near the end, after suffering without her best friend, Little Ann refuses to eat. She can't bear the fact that he is gone, and she decides she can't live without him. Marty found her the next morning lying there, no heartbeat right by Old Dan's grave. He cried and cried but knew he had to move on. Billy made a decision that the best thing to do was bury her right by Old Dan. After a couple days, his family was getting ready to move to a different city, but Billy wanted to say bye to his best friends once more. He tries to hold his tears in, but he can't help the blurriness that he now saw. He let the tears drop down, until he saw something unusual and he rapidly wiped his tears away. Right smack-dab in front of him was a red fern the grew right in between the two dog's graves which represented something very sacred. Billy realized that not many people get to experience something as amazing as this, it's a rarity. 
In this heartfelt story, a boy named Billy Coleman becomes more mature and grown up when he expresses his determination, love of his family, and sacrifice. He goes through many different hurdles in his life such as the scare with his grandpa falling down a hill in the midst of a thunderstorm, having a scare with a mountain lion, and losing his two best friends. Billy had a tight bond with his dogs that only he could understand, and was blessed with the time he was able to have with them. After all, a dog really is a man's best friend.